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Get creative with Hospice Art Bags

06 November 2018

Cross-stitch 

The Hospice of St Francis launched its latest Art Bag project by inviting people to come along to a taster session at the Hospice to try their hand at cross-stitching.

The Art Bag project, now in its fourth year, aims to raise awareness of hospice care and boost the wellbeing of people living with a life-limiting illness through the therapeutic benefits of creativity.

Previous Art Bags have involved weaving, soap carving and transforming the pages of old and worn out books. As part of this year’s project, participants are being invited to create their own contemporary cross-stitch.

A taster session gave people the chance to have a go at cross-stitch and to experience the therapeutic power of craft.

This year’s Art Bag project, launched on 8th October to coincide with the start of national Hospice Care Week, is being run in collaboration with Peace Hospice Care in Watford. It has been inspired by The Solace Project, an initiative run by London-based artist Sophie Alston, to encourage and support people with life-limiting illnesses and their families to use craft to improve their wellbeing and give solace at times of distress and sadness.

The free bags contain all the materials needed to complete a contemporary cross-stitch using easy-to-use large-hole canvas. Anyone can take part and no experience is necessary.

Once completed, participants are asked to return their creations to either hospice. They will then be displayed at the end of the project in summer 2019.

Annalie Ashwell, Macmillan Creative Therapist, said: “Art has proven therapeutic benefits for people facing serious illness, promoting wellbeing and relaxation as well as building resilience.

“This year’s art bags connect with and support The Solace Project, which is being run at the Hospice from 26th October to 16th November. We hope that participants will take this opportunity to explore the possibilities of using craft to improve their general wellbeing.”

Samantha Owen, who became involved in a previous Art Bag project following treatment for breast cancer, said: “The art bag project was an opportunity to get out there and try life again.

“Being involved in a project with people who were going through a similar situation was really reassuring and hopefully it will help other people at the beginning of their diagnosis realise that there is help out there and that it comes in many different forms.”

If you would like to take part in the Art Bag project, please pick up a bag from The Hospice of St Francis or Peace Hospice receptions or call 01442 869550.

For more information about The Hospice of St Francis’ creative therapies visit www.stfrancis.org.uk

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